WinInfo Short Takes: Week of November 30, 2009

An often irreverent look at some of this half-week's other news ...

WinInfo Blog
There's nothing like a half-week to get you back on schedule after almost two straight months of travel. By back on schedule, I mean—of course—back to playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and catching up to a few friends who took advantage of my time away to temporarily rank up higher than me. I'll get you. And you know who you are.

So, Thanksgiving is upon us. For me, Thanksgiving involves "bagels and beer" with friends in the morning, football, food, and my annual nap on the couch. In other words, a fine day all in all.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, Leo and I will record a new episode of the Windows Weekly podcast today (Wednesday) instead of our usual Thursday recording time. I would expect the new episode to go live by the end of the weekend, as usual.

But wait, there's more. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, Friendfeed, and the SuperSite Blog.

Short Takes

New Windows Every Three Years? Yes. But There's More ...
A number of publications have picked up on the fact that Microsoft displayed more than one slide at last week's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) that showed a 2012 date for the next version of Windows Server. This suggests that the next Windows client, Windows 8, will also ship at that time. I can now verify this and even expand on it, after speaking with several sources inside the software giant. The plan is this: New versions of Windows and Windows Server will ship in lockstep every three years going forward. There won't be major and minor versions as before, just new versions. This plan—in case it's not obvious—is based on the success Microsoft had in delivering Windows 7 in three years, but it goes deeper than that. Most groups within Microsoft are now emulating the way the company delivered Windows 7 as well, with no promises that can't be met and few public disclosures about features until everything is clearly established. Is this a good thing? It worked for Windows 7, of course, but then Windows 7 came on the heels of the most overhyped and over-promised Windows version ever. My guess is that in five years or so, Microsoft will also abandon this plan as it figures out that just because something worked for one product—or even one product version—doesn't mean it's a universal solution. But for now, this is the new plan.

Microsoft CFO Leaving the Company
I guess the job just wasn't challenging enough. Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell announced this week that he'll be leaving the company at the end of the year. But here's the funny part: He says he's leaving because he wants a bigger job than CFO. Maybe it really wasn't challenging enough.

Woo Hoo! Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal Gets Approved
Oh wait—just in Canada. And Australia. Never mind.

Mozilla: Hey, We're Doing That Too!
Proving that any company can drop the FUD bomb when it needs to, Mozilla this week responded to Microsoft's announcement of hardware-accelerated web rendering in Internet Explorer (IE) 9 by noting that it too was working on similar technology. "I'll bet we'll ship it first," Mozilla's Chris Blizzard announced via Twitter, of all things. Sure you will. But you didn't announce it first. From where I stand, the score on this one is Microsoft 1, Mozilla 0.

Lawyers Seeking Xbox 360 Users Interested in Class Action Lawsuit
Have you been erroneously banned from Xbox Live because Microsoft claims you've been pirating games but you really haven't been? I didn't think so. And that makes this news awfully bizarre: A law firm is asking for Xbox 360 users who were banned from Xbox Live to contact it about a potential class action lawsuit. The reason? Well, the firm is seeking a cheap pay day, of course. But the firm's excuse for this legal baloney is absolutely priceless. It says that Microsoft "conveniently" waited on the ban until the eve of the year's biggest video game release ( Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) to artificially inflate Xbox Live sales since those banned users would need to sign up again for the service and pay an annual fee to play online. Yep, that's how the law works in the United States: You can pirate games and then sue the company that stops you. Unbelievable.

See You Next Week ...
And that's going to do it for this shortened week here at WinInfo. But I've got some articles planned for the SuperSite over the next few days, including one on the future of Windows 7 that should be interesting. Have a great holiday.

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